GIS Day Open House 2008

The University Libraries and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies hosted a local celebration of Geographic Information Systems Day for the campus and community. The GIS Day Open House showcased real-world applications of GIS technology by students, faculty and other specialists from the University of Arkansas and the region. The open house was held on the second floor atrium area of the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Center for Academic Excellence from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the international event that promotes the importance of geography in research and decision-making around the world. GIS technology transforms how people view information by linking the geography or location with multiple layers of descriptive data of a place.

Every half hour throughout the event, presenters in the EAST lab (JBHT 263/265) discussed techniques of global information systems in numerous applications, such as modeling health care, measuring the lateral spread of earthquakes, identifying eumycetozoans (slime molds) around the world, defining settlement patterns of a Bedouin village in Jordan, improving agricultural practices in Arkansas, using historical maps to discover the Trail of Tears routes in northwest Arkansas, and mapping of school bus routes in Fayetteville.

At the same time, presenters from the University Libraries' Maps and GIS Program demonstrated online historical maps and interactive state maps of Arkansas, available through the Internet. Presenters from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies demonstrated the use of global positioning systems, laser scanners, aerial cameras and other specialized geomatics equipment used for projects, such as "Visualizing Rome." A gallery of poster presentations in the atrium provided examples of numerous GIS projects from the region, such as watershed assessment, parkland site inventory and analysis, inventory and change analysis of riparian and forest plant communities, identification of sediment sources within a watershed, delineation of well production by fire district, and definition of central places in an urban setting.

11/19/2008, J. B. Hunt Center for Academic Excellence

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